Teacher wearing a mask

Answering the Question: What’s it Like to Wear a Cloth Mask During Hot Yoga?

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve had a LOT of questions lately, and many without answers yet. Why on earth is 2020 such a crazy year? What is my stance on “defunding the police”? How do I keep myself and my community safe from Covid-19? As someone who has made yoga a big part of my life for years, another big question I had was “Do I feel safe returning to practice in the community at Modo Yoga yet?”

After reading the extremely well-thought-out precautions that Phil, Ryann, and the Modo Team put together to keep our Modo community safe I decided the answer was a tentative “Yes”. I genuinely feel that they have done pretty much everything they can to keep those of us who return to class as safe as possible, making everything pretty much touchless and dramatically reducing the class size for social distancing. With that, the next question for me was “How do I feel about wearing a CLOTH mask during class?”

I was worried about how it would feel if I’d be able to breathe if I would feel claustrophobic… if I’m honest, it seemed like an important thing to try, but that it would probably be too tough to keep up.

I decided to think of wearing a mask to class as a challenge. We as yogis are used to challenging and mastering our breath on a daily basis. I often like to challenge myself with the advanced modifications that are offered in class and I decided to think of wearing a mask as a similar growth opportunity, especially when I read this article about exercising with a mask and learned that many athletes wore masks pre-Covid19 to improve their lung capacity. Maybe I couldn’t wear a mask for a whole class…but I could give it a try and see what happened.

Similar to trying a new pose and giving myself grace if I fell out, I gave myself permission to not complete the challenge and take my mask off if needed.

My goal was to keep it on for at least 15 minutes and see how I felt from there. The first 10 minutes were a little challenging- I had to get used to the feel of wearing a mask in heat and it was a little bit harder at first.  Luckily, after 10 minutes or so of working through being uncomfortable, I got used to the mask and my breathing felt normal. I was so relieved!

 

A few questions I thought other people might have about the experience of wearing a mask in class:

 

“Do you wear a CLOTH MASK at every class? Do you still notice it?”

I now wear a CLOTH mask every time I’m in a Modo class. I don’t really even notice a difference in my ability at this point. I wouldn’t say wearing a mask is my favorite way to practice… but I’d rather wear a mask than risk unknowingly contributing to the spread of COVID, especially in a community I cherish so much.

 

What kind of mask do you use?

I have several home-made, no-sew, two-layer t-shirt masks that I wear for one class and then throw in the laundry with my yoga clothes. I went with t-shirt masks because of breathability, washability, and cost-effectiveness.

 

Why do you wear a mask to yoga if it’s harder?

Out of love for the Modo Community. I still have a lot of questions about many things in the world, but one thing I know for sure is that I am so thankful to be back practicing in a community setting, and I want to keep the rest of my community safe. The more of us wear masks in class, the safer we all are.

 

How long will you continue wearing a cloth mask?

I am going to challenge myself to continue with this loving act of wearing a mask to protect our community until Covid-19 is no longer a risk, and I hope you’ll consider joining me in this challenge if you are entering the hot room. If we are choosing to come to class, let’s each do everything we can as members to keep our amazing community protected.

Thank you for considering joining me in this mask-wearing challenge!

With love, light, and gratitude,
Amanda Fischer